Today’s new homes offer more benefits than ever before, interms of technology, energy efficiency and style. This is the second of a series of articlesoutlining eight of the reasons many buyers are making the choice to build fromthe ground up, or connect to a home at some point in construction.

Reason #2– ModernDesign

Although you might find a selection of newly constructed rowhouses in a trendy urban area, new construction generally reflects an opendesign where rooms serve multiple purposes. Many buyers are drawn to newconstruction because of open floor plans, which encourage a more modernrelationship between what was once designated as a family space and a definedseparate space to welcome and entertain guests. In an open concept home, thekitchen becomes the hub of the home, offering island or counter-top heightseating as a space to snack, do homework, or assist with meal preparation.Kitchens generally serve as a central hub of a larger single gathering space,where members of the household can engage in a variety of activities within earshot and sight of each other. This “great room” replaces formalspaces that were once divided, and often seldom used.

This open layout allows family members and guests tointeract and work together, so that meal preparation becomes part of the event,instead of something that takes place before guests arrive. In smaller homes,casual seating areas often entirely replace a formal dining room. Technology,being both a blessing and a curse, has extended the work day for many. Cellphones, computers and the Internet have extended the work day into the eveningfor many. Bringing work home, or even working entirely remotely from home,means that a separate room toward the front of the home often functions as ahome office or study, instead the formal living room that it was decades ago.As a reflection of the prominence of a kitchen in modern design, many of theupgrades buyers select are added to the kitchen, making it one of the moreaesthetically appealing, technologically equipped and expensive areas of thehome.

The shift to an open concept has largely been influenced bychanges in culture, such as the previously mentioned need or ability to workfrom home. Television design or remodeling hosts use the term“open-concept” so often we take it for granted that this is thedesired plan for modern living. The days when families spent Sunday afternooncalling on neighbors have been replaced by inviting a large group of people toenjoy a televised game or backyard BBQ. The outdoor spaces often becomeadditional living space, where members of the household can dine, prepare food,and gather around a fire-pit or television. In general, this is a reflection ofa more casual American culture.

Although it’s possible to knock down walls and remodel anexisting home to create a open concept layout, the costs can quickly add up,particularly if the walls that need to come down are load bearing and beams orsupports need to be added. Changes in building materials and practices haveallowed builders to offer open concept floor plans at almost any price point.Maintaining simplicity in design means fewer walls and requires fewer buildingmaterials. Truss construction avoids a center load bearing wall, and allows foran expanse of long distances. If is also more cost effective since trusses aregenerally built off-site, reducing both labor costs and waste.

Aside from social benefits, open concept designs allow forlight to flow through the home from different sides, allowing both more naturallight and light at various times throughout the day. Homes with open conceptsalso allow the owners to take advantage of a view from many functional areaswithin a larger multi-purpose room.